Posts Tagged ‘TABJ’


Empowered Ideas Co-Founder, James Wong, Recognized by the RDU Chapter of the National Black MBA Association

On November 1, 2012, Empowered Ideas was invited to speak to the membership of the RDU Chapter of the National Black MBA Association — recently recognized as the NBMBAA Chapter of the Year.

Empowered Ideas Co-Founder, James Wong, led an inspiring discussion about how following your passions in life, can ultimately unveil true professional success when integrated with a few simple core ideals, such as:

  • Have several diversified passions in life, but always stay true to them
  • Surround yourself with individuals smarter than yourself
  • Never stop learning, especially when everyone else tells you otherwise
  • Network & grow your connections in the unlikeliest places



TABJNC “Making News” Media Access Workshop

The Triangle Association of Black Journalists (TABJ) is an organization of reporters, editors, photographers, and other media professionals working in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., metropolitan area. The TABJ is an affiliate chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

As an honorary member of the Triangle Association of Black Journalists, it was an honor participating on their panel of experts at the 4th Annual TABJ “Making News” Media Access Workshop on July 8, 2010.

Why Support the TABJ?

Ever since meeting some of their members at local tweet-ups and social media events, I have been honored to have served on several panel discussions for the TABJ.  This is an organization comprised of the same industry professionals we’ve all grow accustomed to watching on the various news programs in the Triangle area — including the writers that fill the pages of our favorite local papers with their creative penmanship.

After meeting individuals like Gayle Hurd, Ken Smith, and many other News Media professionals at a TABJ Social Mixer a few years back, I quickly realized that the community of local reporters and journalists weren’t being provided the same level of access to industry professionals that other groups had access to.  While some media professionals were adapting to the latest communications technologies and trends, most others had not. As the world became more and more digitally connected, especially on social media channels, it became more apparent that the media was quickly being left behind.

My decision to dedicate myself to helping the TABJ was one of mutual respect, and my own personal way of giving back to the media professionals I’ve respected for decades.

The 4th Annual TABJ “Making News” Media Access Workshop

The workshop was organized by the TABJ, in cooperation with the RDU Chapter of the National Black MBA Association, and was a collaborative setting which allowed panelists and audience members to learn in a group setting, while encouraging open communication and creative thinking unseen at most other industry workshops and conferences.  The purpose of the workshop was to share information on ways to work with the media, as well as to get coverage on television, radio and in print.

The audience was comprised mainly of local non-profit organizations and other small business owners, while the panel consisted of local media and business professionals (myself included) who shared our expertise on newsgathering and working with the public on developing news stories, talk show segments, public service announcements and initiatives as well as commercial advertising.

Offering Value to Local Businesses and Non-Profits

Audience members learned how to work with news organizations, write effective press releases and public service announcements,  as well as learn the best ways to get their story covered and gain much needed publicity for their organization and its events.  Attendees learned about other means and outlets available to get publicity including public service announcements, social media, commercials and online media.

Confirmed Speakers Included:

  • James Wong, Communications Manager of iContact
  • Gurnal Scott, WPTF-AM News Anchor/Reporter
  • Brett Chambers, NC Central University Communications Instructor & RDU Black MBA President
  • Ken Smith, WRAL-TV/Fox 50 Reporter/Anchor
  • Stan Chambers, Durham Reporter at The News and Observer

The moderator for the event was WTVD-TV Reporter and Anchor, Anthony Wilson.

For more information about this and future events, email,, or visit .


iMedia 2009 Panel Discussion: Technology & New Media

iMedia 2009 Workshop - Making The Connection

Change has Come: Technology and New Media

On Saturday, September 19th I had the honor of participating on a panel discussion on Technology and New Media at the iMedia 2009 Workshop, organized by MEP, sponsored by DMI, and hosted at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

The audience was comprised of local High School and College students interested in Media and Journalism, at a time when changes are as rampant and unpredictable as crude oil prices.

The basic premise for the discussion was on the influence and use of new media, blogging, social media and new technology in producing the news in both broadcast and print journalism. Our goal as panelists was to provide information and best practices of which these students would need to know in order to compete; while utilizing ways to use these new technologies to their advantage in the workplace.

The following are just a few of the key points which I wanted these students to take away from this discussion:

Personal Branding

As social media technologies erode away at the foundation of traditional media, it seems imperative that today’s journalists capitalize on their personal brands. In the past, many journalists and reporters put great emphasis on associating themselves with the brands of the major media and news networks.

However, as social media technologies acquire more and more users, and as these technologies integrate into mobile technology, the need to build one’s own brand has never been more crucial. Media end users have a virtual smorgasbord of media consumption methods, and therefore, have devastated traditional mediums like magazines, newspapers, television, and even radio; which once stood as the medium giants of their day.

In order to truly be successful in today’s digital age, media professionals must begin to develop communities of followers, readers, and fans. Through social media technologies and communities, journalists can now receive instant feedback on their work, and even cater their work to meet their followers on a much more personal basis.

As more and more newspapers and media organizations downsize their mediums and staff, I predict that these media organizations will rely more heavily on contractors rather than hiring full time staff members. This was a key point supported by fellow panelist Sam Methany of the Capital Broadcasting Company.

A perfect example of niche journalism is the lack of Sports coverage in the Triangle area, especially in the area of High School athletics. Most of the area papers have reduced their sections so drastically, that High School sports have virtually no coverage compared to years past. Seasoned journalists could seize such a perfect opportunity and publish their own small town publication, or even a simple blog which could provide the coverage that consumers demand in that specific field of local journalism. In time, and the right usage of social media best practices, this small publication could attract enough online traffic and notoriety that larger news organizations could utilize the traffic and content from such a blog, and integrate it into their media on a third-party vendor/contractor basis.

The key to such a concept is simple: Personal Branding, Quality Content, and Effective and Streamlined Social Media Best Practices.

New Media is as simple as “Nurture vs. Nature”

I have struggled to find an analogy that could quickly and effectively relay this simple concept, and fellow panelist Sam Methany stated it best when he said that New Media is essentially the difference between “nurture verses nature.”

To put it quite simply, much of the “Baby-Boomer” generation has had a difficult time adopting new media concepts and technologies. Much of this segment of the population has had to be nurtured, even hand-held as they attempted to learn, understand, and integrate such technologies into their work, and in some cases, their every day lives.

The current generation of teens and college students are in contrast, much more adept at using new media technologies because they have by nature, born with these technologies already present in their every day lives. New media like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Text Messaging, Instant Messaging, and others are already heavily integrated into the society they were raised into.

The true challenge is not identifying those whom are nurtured verses natured, but finding the middle ground where which the two groups will intertwine. The problem is that as today’s younger generation adopts these new media technologies as mainstream, they are missing the wisdom and experience that older generations have learned from decades of traditional media and journalism. There is much that both sides of the line must be willing to sit down and learn from one another before there can truly be an equilibrium.

The key point from this is simple, there is a fine line that must be balanced by today’s journalists; SPEED verses ACCURACY. All too often you hear about journalists who don’t do their due diligence and post content that hasn’t been properly researched, only to find out later that the information was inaccurate, and thus causing devestating damage to their credibility.

In a world of lightning fast data, journalists must be weary of false information, and maintain traditional media methods of quality research and attention to detail, while balancing the need to rush the content to consumers before their competitors.

In Summary

Today’s new media tsunami of tools, devices, software, and communities have caused a rift between those nurtured and those whom view such technologies and trends as natural. Information is consumed by society in epidemic proportions, and it’s increasingly difficult for journalists to maintain quality verses quantity in a digital age. Furthermore, as more and more media outlets fall to the new media torrent, journalists are having to take ownership of their work, their careers, and their personal brands in order to survive the flood.

However, there are great benefits to this, the “Great Flood of New Media.” Today’s newest generation of journalists and beyond, will bare witness to a new digital enlightenment of mankind. More than ever before, we as a species are more connected and more in tuned with the trivial daily thoughts and actions of our peers. From mobile devices to text messaging to video blogging and conferencing, human beings are able to track every thought and movement of their favorite celebrities, or even just the guy down the street.

The real question is this… what will future generations do with this wealth of seemingly mundane information, and how will they cope with the eventual recession of the new media flood waters?

Written By:

James C. Wong
Online Communications Manager
iContact Corporation


Bio for the TABJ's Social Media Panel

After attending last years Holiday Social, co-hosted by the Triangle Association of Black Journalists (TABJ) and the Triangle Association of Asian Journalists (TAAJ), I have been invited to speak this Saturday, April 18th on a Social Media Panel. The topic of this SM Panel is “The Role of Social Media for Today’s Journalists.”

I was asked to provide a short bio to be used in collateral for the conference, and I decided that instead of providing a typically stiff and boring professional bio, that I would write a more comical bio:

“James Wong is not your typical Boston, MA transplant. He is a dynamic figure on many online communities. At age 12 he was a System Operator of two local Bulletin Board System (BBS).

Often, you will find him scaling verses with tactical karaoke precision at your local pub. Attended NCCU and NCSU to learn the skills necessary to write code for the military application of Tactical Digi-Pet keychains.

A few years ago, he discovered the meaning of life but forgot to blog about it. He has spoken at various conferences to MBAs, CEOs, and Industry Experts; while secretly wanting to be them.

He has successfully developed Social Media strategies and initiatives that have positioned his clients as recognized Social Media Leaders. Most importantly, both Miss America and Miss Universe proudly display “I [HEART] WONG” posters in their dressing rooms.”

Of course, there’s a second version which I wrote, but did not submit to the TABJ. This bio I have reserved for more personal uses, such as my Facebook profile and such…

“I am a dynamic figure in American society. Often, you will find me scaling verses with tactical karaoke precision. Disc Golf isn’t just a passion, it’s a key to the secret of life itself.

Years ago, I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to blog about it. The CIA is afraid of my Asian Persuasion. The FBI has a poster of the ‘WONGINATOR’ on their wall. I have spoken at Conferences to MBAs, CEOs, and Industry Experts. I want to be them. I hack Twitter and Facebook walls, and redecorate them. Both Miss America and Miss Universe have ‘I [HEART] WONG’ posters in their dressing rooms.

I live life cautiously, yet risk everything for that which drives me. I regret nothing, yet often look back at lessons learned and opportunities untaken. I once rode a mechanical bull until it retired from service from a bad hip.

I woo women with dance moves that would make Steve Urkel seem like a champ in Dancing with the Stars. Sometimes the words just flow out of me like Paris Hilton’s skirt in the wind.

My friends and family are my strength, passion, and soul. Ever since I saw “It,” clowns scare me. Relationships come and go like feathers upon the wind, yet true lifelong friends will weather through the worst of storms like mountains.

I can change a tire in seven minutes flat. I once defended my friends from a wild bucket of Yuengling; the threat was consumed within minutes. I was awarded the key to the city, but lost it in a full contact bingo game. Liquor? I hardly even know her!

Some call me the ‘Oriental Cowboy’ (‘The O.C.’), yet I’d rather be a light fixture than a rug. I was born vertically challenged and with ‘slanted eye syndrome,’ but I’m a Expert Pistol Marksman.

Life is a seemingly endless Sea of the Mundane… I am the lighthouse that brings to light the joys of your youth, the fun you’ve been missing, and the crazy times you never had in your life… “